William R. Scherer III successfully represented the North Broward Hospital District in a lawsuit brought by an employee of the District who claimed that her termination of employment by the District for excessive absenteeism violated her rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The case was tried to a jury and resulted in a defense verdict in favor of Mr. Scherer’s client, the District, which was later affirmed on appeal. The case addressed an important and previously unresolved question of whether a “period of incapacity of more than three calendar days”, for purposes of establishing a “serious health condition” which was necessary for coverage by the FMLA, required 72 consecutive hours of incapacity (i.e. being physically unable to work) or whether intermittent but not constant incapacity over a three-day period was sufficient. The trial court and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Mr. Scherer’s position that 72 uninterrupted hours of incapacity was required under the FMLA to constitute a serious health condition and Mr. Scherer’s client did not violate the FMLA by terminating its employee for excessive absenteeism where the employee did not have a serious health condition resulting in missed time from work.
William R. Scherer III was lead counsel representing preeminent entertainment attorney Stevens H. Weiss in an action against Atlantic Recording Corporation. The case concerned Weiss’ entitlement to royalties on sales of Led Zeppelin releases, How the West Was Won and Led Zeppelin DVD and involved the interpretation of what was included as “catalogue” in Weiss’ agreement with Atlantic which stemmed from Weiss’ prior representation of the band during the late 60’s through the early 80’s. Mr. Scherer was able to draw upon his knowledge and experience in music recording and performance during cross examination of recording engineer Eddie Kramer and Led Zeppelin band member Jimmy Page in depositions. The case was resolved through a confidential settlement.
William R. Scherer III was lead counsel representing the North Broward Hospital District in an action brought by a newspaper alleging the District violated its First Amendment rights when it canceled its job recruitment advertisements with the newspaper after the newspaper published two editorial columns which were critical of the District as an employer. The court agreed with Mr. Scherer’s position that the District’s cancelation of its job recruitment advertisements with the newspaper was justified and did not violate the newspaper’s First Amendment rights where the newspaper’s critical editorial columns frustrated the very purpose for the District doing business with the paper and placing advertisements to recruit employees. The court entered summary judgment in favor of Mr. Scherer’s client on the First Amendment claim upon concluding that the speech was not protected under the circumstances involved in the case.